The fourth and final book of the Patria contains an account of how Hagia Sophia was built. While historians should be wary about trusting if these stories are true, it does offer an entertaining look at what, centuries later, the Byzantines believed to be how the construction of the church took place.
This building was the third church to be built at this location. The second church, which was only about a hundred years old, was a victim of the Nika Revolt that took place in January of 532, and was burned to the ground in the riots. A few weeks later, Emperor Justinian decided to rebuild an even bigger church. As the Patria states, “God inspired him to build a church such as had never been built since Adam’s time.”Share
The Byzantine government soon began making plans for the new building, with Justinian sending out orders to all the corners of his empire:
wrote to all his generals, satraps, judges and the tax officials of the themes that they all should search for columns, revetments, parapets, slabs, chancel barriers and doors and all the other materials which are need to build the church. All those who had received his order sent materials, from pagan temples and from old baths and houses, to the emperor Justinian by rafts, from all themes of the east and west, north and south, and from all islands.(Read more.)